Almost every culture has a myth about the end of the world. The Mayans, as we've all heard, expected a potentially cataclysmic epochal shift, due to take place this December. Christians have long perused the New Testament prophecies, seeking omens of an impending Day of Judgment. Pittsburghers, meanwhile, live in fear of the tribulations that may unfold if all three of our major-league sports franchises suffer disappointments in the same year.
Hey, wait a minute ...
But fear not! Many of these End Times prophecies include at least the hint of better times to come. The Mayans envisioned the end of one historical cycle and the beginning of another. Christians foresee a Paradise on Earth ... and similarly, local sports fans look forward to high draft picks.
In any case, knowing that the world may someday end can help us appreciate what we have in the here and now. That's the spirit in which we offer the results of our 2012 Best of Pittsburgh readers' poll. There's an old saying that you can't take it with you ... but if you could, these are the restaurants, the bars and the cultural attractions that our readers would carry along into the next world.
To further inspire meditation on Pittsburgh's virtues, we carried out an additional survey for this issue. We asked local movers and shakers a profound philosophical question: "If the End Times were at hand, and Pittsburgh were surrounded by a Lake of Fire from which you could not escape ... how would you spend the Last Days here?" You'll find answers to that question scattered throughout the pages that follow.
Fortunately, we may not have to contemplate such dire scenarios any time soon: India Garden won "Best Indian Restaurant" yet again ... so the cosmos hasn't come completely unhinged.
Cover/Section Intro Page photographs by Heather Mull.
GOODS & SERVICES:
Real-life Ravens fan Victoria Berdnik.
Models, drag queen Marsha "Monster" Mellow and Benjamin Gorski, at 5801 Video Lounge & Café, 5541 Walnut St., Shadyside; Technical adviser, Terry Clark.
FOOD & DRINK:
Models: Michelle Pacis and Karen Baum at E2, 5904 Bryant St., Highland Park.
PEOPLE & PLACES:
Model, John Colombo.